Help Help for an Android Newbie


I just got my first Android phone (Droid 3) after upgrading from an LG EnV Touch. I like the phone so far, and am figuring some things out as I go along. I have dowloaded Go Launcher Ex, which I am currently running. From the posts I have read in the Droid 3 forums, the phone comes with a lot of "bloatware", which I know I can't get rid of unless I "root", which I will not do anytime soon. My problem is that when I go to the list of running applications, there are always a bunch that I have not started--VZ Navigator, Skype, Social Networking, My Verizon Mobile, etc. Why are these applications running, and how can I stop them from starting? Even after closing them, they will be running again later. I want to keep my phone performing fast and smooth, and I don't want a bunch of stuff running if I didn't start it.
Thanks in advance for any help, and apologies as well--this is all very new to me (smartphones as well as forums), and while I am not a dolt, some things elude me sometimes.


Android Expert
Are these applications actually running in the background or are they simply loaded into memory? The way Android manages system resources and processes, it generally tries to make the most of memory and uses memory by loading applications it thinks you may use often. Often apps loaded into memory are not actually running if it has nothing to do. For instance, if you have your browser open and you finished reading the page and then switch to play a game, the browser will still be loaded in memory, but it won't be using any CPU. The next time you want to use your browser, it will start up quickly because it is already loaded into memory.

I'm not sure exactly how Android tries to figure out which apps you use most often and tries to keep them loaded. One way it may use to determine this is how often you switch to the app. If you keep switching to the app and exit it, Android may think that you are actually using it often and keep them in memory over other apps.

I would suggest you just not touch those apps you do not use. Just use the apps you normally use. After a while, Android will probably figure out you don't use the bloatware apps often and will load other apps in memory instead of the bloatware ones.

Generally, when I look at the list of running apps on my phone, it shows the most recently used ones. Apps I haven't used in a while do not appear on that list. If I use an app that I haven't used for a while, it will start appearing in the list of apps and then after not using it for a while, it will be gone.


Thread starter
Thanks for the reply Stuntman. I am not sure if they are actually running or not. But when I go to the area for applications, I have 3 tabbed choices-- "Running Apps", "Recent Apps", and "All Apps". What I am referring to is the items listed in "Running Apps". Many are things that I definitely do not use at all, such as Skype, Alarm & Timer, Social Networking, DLNA, and VZ Navigator. When I touch them, I am given a choice of "Close", "Lock", "GoTo", and "Info" (might be specific to my Launcher and Theme). When I choose "Close", most will disappear (DLNA always stays), but they will be there when I check again later. Right now, it says I have 10 applications running, and says I have 89M free Memory of 439M Total Memory. I am not sure if I can permanently delete any of these, but if possible, I would like to (some I would like to leave and just use when needed) . At the least, I would love to know if they are actually running and draining phone resources (as well as battery), and if so, how I can prevent that. Thanks again.


Android Enthusiast
The apps that are running that you say you never use are Verizon's bloatware apps and maybe a couple games you downloade. They don't use up a lot of resources but enough to be a nuisance my recommendation is don't bother with them. If you wish to permanently delete them you would need to root your device. Go to the all things root forum for the Droid 3 and check what's safe to remove if you want to do that.

P.S. Go Launcher Ex is awesome! :D